I had my pre-operative appointment at St. Josephs on Friday. I went and answered a couple more questionnaires about my health, had another half dozen vials of blood taken, another heart test, they weighed me and took my height (vital statistics for someone donating a kidney…will it affect her height?)
I talked to the anaesthetist about how they put me to sleep, to a pharmacist about what medications I am on, and then to the transplant co-ordinator. She was the one who walked me through what happens from the moment I come into the hospital on Wednesday morning…where to go, what to expect, where my husband will wait, how long it will take, and what the recovery process will be like.
It was helpful for her to explain that anaesthetic basically puts my bowels to sleep, and they will take a while to wake up. Because they are not working very well, I won’t have much of an appetite, and they will be listening to my abdomen to see whether gas is moving around.
She also explained more about the actual surgery. I knew that after they make the laparoscopic incisions, they inflate my abdomen with air, so that they can move their instruments around more easily. My husband had quite a bit of pain after the surgery…apparently from some sort of air bubbles that move to the top of your shoulders. She explained that they insert a certain amount of gas into your abdomen, and they take exactly the same amount of air out, but that somehow, there is some residual gas that may cause this problem. The answer is to move around and walk. That’s the answer for the bowels too…walking helps get the body back to normal.